Early Warning Dissemination System (EWDS)

Date of Commencement: 23.11.2015

Date of Implementation: 09.07.2016

Date of Completion:

Purpose & Priority of the Project

The primary purpose of Early Warning Dissemination System (EWDS) is to establish a full-proof communication system to address the existing gap of disseminating disaster warning up to the community level by strengthening of State Emergency Operation Centre (SEOC), District Emergency Operation Centre (DEOC) and Block Emergency Operation Centre (BEOC) thereby ensuring information dissemination from the State, District and Block Levels to communities and vice versa, so that the last person living nearest to the sea is well informed to take appropriate action in case of a disaster.

1205 villages in 22 blocks of 6 coastal districts (Balasore, Bhadrak, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Puri & Ganjam) of the State which are prone to multifarious hydro-meteorological disasters like Cyclone, Flood, & Tsunami are taken as priority to save the lives & property of inhabitants who are vulnerable & under risk.

Strategies adopted for bringing about the transformation & Positive Impact

  • Identification of the location for installation of EWDS towers using the GIS technology and further field verification. This enables for covering the entire coastal stretch of Odisha without any gap with minimum infrastructure requirement.
  • Using the experience of warning dissemination during Phailin, the existing gaps for disseminating the warning to the last mile from SEOC, DEOC, BEOC identified.
  • Exploring of different available technological options for the project and finalization suitable technologies for effective EWDS after discussion with the different stakeholders.
  • The project comprises technologies such as Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) and Satellite-based Mobile Data/ Voice terminals (SBMDV) has been proposed which are suitable for both Pre, During and Post Disaster scenario as well.
  • Tele Communication Consultants of India Ltd. (TCIL) was engaged as the technical consultant to provide technical support throughout the implementation period of the project.
  • L&T was engaged through open tender as the System Integrator (SI) to ensure timely implementation & better service delivery.
  • Community participation & involvement was incorporated from the beginning as a form of social audit.

Role of Various Stakeholders

  • OSDMA as the Nodal Agency for implementation of the Early Warning Dissemination monitored every aspects like construction, financial mobilization, quality audit & solving various problems at different levels.
  • Provided the technical inputs & supervision for the projects. Meticulously following the progress of work, solving technical issues & processing the official formalities for release of payment to the executing agencies.
  • Coordinated the execution on a day to day basis involving the SI & technical consultants entrusted with the work.
  • Ensure coordination among the stakeholder organisations like World Bank, TCIL, L&T, GoI, Department of the State Govt., executing agencies, grass-root level community organizations for effective implementation of the project.

Positive features of the initiatives

  1. Transparency & Stakeholder Participation
  • Award of contract work made through open bidding process observing codal provisions of the Government & guidelines of World Bank. The project was implemented on a multi-stakeholder approach involving the following:
    1. Knowledge Institution: TCIL for technical consultancy
    2. L&T as the System Integrator
  • World Bank: Active engagement of the World Bank was facilitated following due diligence & sticking to the procurement & other guidelines of the Project Appraisal Documents of the Bank. The Bank also provided vital feedback through regular mission visits.
  1. Innovativeness of the initiatives
    • Integrating different technologies for effective dissemination of disaster warnings in a single platform to reach the last mile up to community level and also fishermen in sea.
    • The technology involves Satellite based mobile data voice terminal at SEOC and 6 DEOCS; Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) connectivity to SEOC, 6 DEOCs, 22 BEOCs and 14 FLCs; Alert Towers at 122 locations within 1.5 km from the coastline for both cyclone & tsunami warning dissemination; Mass Messaging from SEOC for cyclone & tsunami warning and universal gateway for inter-operability;
    • The technology and system adopted is robust in nature for early warning dissemination. It will work in 24X7 and would not be failed at any circumstances.
  • Area specific disaster warning would be disseminated to the community and the system can be activated at any anytime from SEOC/DEOC and BEOC.
  • Odisha is the Pioneer state for implementation of the EWDS. Other states following the Odisha model for implementation of such types of project in their states.
  • The last person at the remotest corner in the coastal area could be alerted about an impending disaster in minutes.
  • From State Level the entire coast of Odisha could be reached at the push of a button.
  • Warning communication could be disseminated simultaneously from the State, District & Block level.
  • Warning communication could be disseminated in different forms like messages, voice, siren etc.
  • Even people could be alerted about a disaster at dead of night when they are fast asleep.
  • EWDS is the project first of its kind in the country to be implemented by OSDMA.
  • OSDMA took the leadership in bringing the stakeholders like NDMA, World Bank & TCIL together to prepare the base work & technology selection for the project.
  • As Disaster Early Warning Communication comes under the purview of the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC), the SRC office was entrusted with the execution of the project.
  • Since new technology was involved, the preparation of the DPR & bid document was itself a challenge which the organization took up & overcame.
  • Continuous interface was maintained with the Ministry of Communications, GoI for issue of necessary licenses for Digital Mobile Radio & Satellite phones etc.
  • The SI was closely monitored & assisted with specific inputs from OSDMA.
  • Structural stability certification system by a third-party quality auditor was insisted & put in place by OSDMA.

Sustainability of the initiative

  • The contract with SI is not only for setting up the system but to maintain it for 5 years with required manpower.
  • SI will impart necessary capacity building for the personnel of the government within this period.
  • All the equipments are covered under insurance by the system integrator.
  • Spun concrete towers have been used in the maximum possible places to prevent corrosion by the saline climate.
  • The steel towers are provided with anti corrosion treatment for sustainability.
  • All the sire towers are mostly located in the premises of Government building & on cyclone shelters for better access & freedom of operation & maintenance.

Benefits resulting from the initiatives

Improvement in delivery time of services: OSDMA was declared as the State Project Management Unit (SPMU) for better coordination & service delivery at the state level. Technical institution of GoI like TCIL was engaged for providing technical support which saved delay in selection process from the open market. E-tendering process was adopted for the project.

Better beneficiaries Feedback:  District Emergency Officers & Block Development Officers level were consulted at different stages of implementation of the project to ascertain their requirement who are the actual end users of the applications. Feedback of Cyclone Shelter Management & Maintenance Commmitties was obtained for smooth implementation of the work.

Improvement in measurable Indicators:

  • Satellite based mobile data voice terminal at SEOC and 6 DEOCS;
  • Digital mobile radio (DMR) connectivity to SEOC, 6 DEOCs, 22 BEOCs and 14 FLCs;
  • Alert Towers at 122 locations within 1.5 km from the coastline for both cyclone & tsunami warning dissemination;
  • Mass Messaging from SEOC for cyclone & tsunami waning;
  • Universal gateway for inter-operability;

Simplified Procedures: 

  • Identification of suitable sites for establishment of Alert towers using the GIS technology. It could effectively reduce the time and cost for selection of sites as well as deciding the minimum tower requirement for covering the entire coastal stretch.
  • Existing resources like networks (OSWAN) and physical infrastructure for the implantation of the project explored and utilized for reducing cost and time.
  • Continuous interface was maintained with the Ministry of Communications, GoI for issue of necessary licenses for Digital Mobile Radio & Satellite phones etc.
  • The procurement contract was floated to get a SI instead of only a contractor to execute the work.
  • The SI, took various vendors & Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) in their fold for putting the system in place.
  • Structural stability certification system by a third party quality auditor was insisted & put in place by OSDMA.
  • Maintenance of the equipment is integrated in the project.